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Consumerism: increasing popularity in the modern era


The reason behind the presence of a company in the market is the presence of customers in the market. The needs and demands of goods and services among customers give businesses reason to produce. The concept of consumerism is based on the consumption activity of consumers. Consumerism is the consumption of goods and services by consumers more than their basic needs, in large quantities and volumes. It is the policy focusing on the protection of the interest of consumers while they built an exchange relationship with an organization (the activity of acquiring goods and services in exchange of money). It includes the activities of bodies such as government, independent organizations, businesses, etc. that are responsible for protecting the rights of consumers. It aims to safeguard the interest of customers against defective goods or poor services provided to them by sellers.

Understand the concept of consumerism from different perspective

As a policy consumerism is used to provide full satisfaction to buyers through regulating the products and services and standards of producers, sellers and advertisers in the interest of buyers. The introduction of consumerism dates back to the post period of Second World War which developed with the industrial revolution. It was considered that an individual’s happiness at the personal level is associated with buying and consuming of goods and services. In other words, materialistic possession gives satisfaction to the buyer which becomes a reason for happiness. Consumerism has gained popularity in the modern era as it has been a source of improving the living standards of people around the world.

Researchers also have a perspective about consumerism. Researches consider consumerism to be important for reversing the current trend of harsh, destructive and unsustainable consumption. Besides this the growth in the population of the global economy and the economic development has been a driving force for the increasing consumption level of goods and services. This is mostly observed in emerging economies like India, China, etc. The middle-class consumer section of the society is mainly the driving force for increasing consumption levels globally. The GDP of the developing economies is projected to rise which will lead to increase in the number of middle-income consumers/households. Increase in the number of middle-income consumers means rise in the level of income and rise in income would raise spending made in the market for consumption of goods and services. While the concept of consumerism is benefiting the consumers, the effects of the approach are not favorable to the society; this has made consumerism a target of criticism. The opponents of consumerism believe that society has shifted to a scientific based culture from a religious based culture.

The economy which was more engaged in agricultural activities is now an industrial based economy. Individuals prefer urban regions over the rural areas and community values to individual values. This change in the cultural atmosphere of the society has made the society to ignore the nature and develop with lack of ecological awareness and psychological well being. The increasing demand has made manufacturers produce more which requires more of raw materials. The diminishing of natural resources is a point of concern for the society as they are getting scarce. To provide full satisfaction to consumers, producers even use more rational equipment than required in the manufacturing process. Using resources more than required not only reduces the quantity of resources available but also leads to wastage of resources. This represents that at the level of production and consumption, people are not worried about the future generations and their sustainability. Consumerism has made brands and products substitute a healthy human relationship. However, in contrast to these arguments there have been policies and regulations developed by the government to control the depletion of the natural environment and safeguard the society as a whole. The consumers as well as the manufacturers in today’s world are aware enough about their responsibility towards the society and the upcoming generation.

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